In his strikingly ambitious and provocative book, Noise Uprising, Michael Denning argues that the early recording industry unleashed a worldwide sonic revolution. Focusing on the five-year period inaugurated by the invention of electric recording technology in 1925, Denning analyzes the recording boom that played out in port cities throughout the world. He argues that these recordings broadcast to the world a collection of “vernacular musics” whose rhythms, timbres and unconventional conventions “disrupted the hierarchical orders and patterns of deference that structured colonial and settler societies” (Denning, 2015, p. 155). In so doing, they “decolonized the ear,” laying the essential ideological groundwork for the global wave of political decolonization...

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